Today the Finnish Transport Agency has signed a contract with Aker Arctic Technology Oy for design of a new icebreaker for the Government. Aker Arctic in cooperation with ILS Oy will design the vessel and prepare the technical documents needed to hold tender for its construction in compliance with the performance requirements for the vessel, and will assist the Finnish Transport Agency in negotiations with shipyards later this autumn.

The Government has already taken earlier a decision in principle to procure a new icebreaker; and 125 million euro has been earmarked for its construction by winter 2016. The icebreaking capacity of the new icebreaker in all parameters will comply with the Urho-class icebreaker. Due to its diesel-electric machinery, it will be able to move continuously through about 1.6 m thick level ice, to break a 25 meter wide channel in 1.2 meter thick ice at speed of 6 knots, as well as to reach 9…11 knots of average assistance speed in the Baltic Sea. The draught of the vessel with full fuel tanks should be maximum 8m, which enables operation and support to vessels on all major sea routes. The cruising speed of the vessel in open water should be minim 16 knots.

Icebreaker designed by © Aker Arctic for the Government

Icebreaker designed by © Aker Arctic for the Government

In addition, the new icebreaker will be equipped for oil spill response operations and will perform emergency towing missions 95% of the time in the open water and ice conditions prevailing in the Baltic Sea. It should be possible to collect oil with at significant wave height up to at least 2 meters, and 95% of the time in the wind conditions prevailing in the Baltic Sea. The recovered oil tanks and heating capacities for recovered oil should be sufficient for at least 1500 m3 of collected quantities. The vessel will be designed for 50 years of service life, and the icebreaker will have accommodation in total for 24 persons, with reserve for additional crew in case of oil spill response operations.

The ordered design materials should be completed so as to make it possible to begin the tender for construction of the icebreaker by end of autumn 2013.

”The Finnish foreign trade flows completely depend on an efficient winter navigation. Our oldest icebreaker Voima is already sixty years old, and it is important that after a fifteen-year long gap we are able to renew our icebreaker fleet. Due to the new technology, our goal is to improve the level of icebreaker services and to ensure the competitiveness of our exports”, says Antti Vehviläinen, Director General, Ministry of Transport.

”This is amazing that a new flag ship design of our icebreaking fleet is possible to be done by the highly experienced engineering companies of the country, Aker Arctic and ILS, that guarantees the result of high quality of the project”, admits on his behalf Jarkko Toivola, Winter Navigation Unit Manager.

”This new design of the Finnish icebreaker will give us the significant reference for the international markerts of growing Scandinavian regions and thanks to it we can show that the Finnish icebreaking technology has the top ranks in the world. In summer we can assure in advance the performance capacity of the new icebreaker by means of model tests”, says the Managing Director of Aker Arctic Mikko Niini.

”It is important for this kind of national project that all competencies and experience can be applied. Our starting cooperation with Aker Arctic is inevitable to preserve the status of Finnish know-how in a growing international competition” says the Managing Director of ILS Oy Jyrki Lehtonen.

The Finnish Transport Agency operates under the Ministry of Transport and Communication and it promotes the efficient functioning of the traffic system of our country, transport safety, a balanced and sustainable development of the regions.

The responsibilities of the Agency involve the following: to maintain and develop the traffic system jointly with the other actors in the field; to be in charge of state waterways and consolidate measure directed at them and, besides, to direct and supervise the waterways maintenance all over the country, to be responsible for design, maintenance and construction of the waterways; to take care of the traffic management and its development in the government’s traffic lanes and in the waterways, to ensure winter navigation and to develop and promote transport services and the functioning of the markets for them as well as to improve the performance of transport  infrastructure. www.liikennevirasto.fi

Aker Arctic Technology Inc (AARC), situated in Vuosaari district of Helsinki, is an independent company for arctic technology development, the shareholders of which are STX Finland Oy, ABB Oy and Aker Solutions ASA. Its ice model testing facility built in 2006 is currently considered the most modern one in the world.

Aker Arctic employs over 40 people and, in addition to its testing services, it develops marine and offshore technology solutions for the international customers. The following references from the works in progress are worth mentioning: participation in the design of Canadian polar icebreaker as well as the concept design of the Polar Research Vessel for the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China. At the moment the company is also engaged in the development of the largest LNG vessel in collaboration with the Finnish Maritime Industry. www.akerarctic.fi

ILS Oy is an engineering company situated in the town of Turku which specializes in design of icebreakers and ice-on-going ships with the branch in Helsinki. ILS was founded in 1988 and it presently employs 12 employees.

For 25 years of project-based operation of ILS Oy such icebreakers have been built for Finland as multipurpose icebreakers Fennica, Nordica and Botnica as well as such icebreakers in the Arctic Ocean for Russia built in Singapore as Varandey and Toboi. The concept design of an ice-class supply ship to be built in Russia and classification drawings of the archipelago ferry and the icebreaker tug to be built for Finland at the dock of Työvene Oy in Uusikaupunki are now in progress. www.ils.fi

Information source: STX Europe

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